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National Innovations in CWS Funding: What’s Working?. Michael Lawler Co-Director, Center for Public Policy Research and Director, The Center for Human Services UC Davis Extension University of California, Davis. Study Methodology. Internet document review

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national innovations in cws funding what s working

National Innovations in CWS Funding: What’s Working?

Michael Lawler

Co-Director, Center for Public Policy Research and

Director, The Center for Human Services

UC Davis Extension

University of California, Davis

study methodology
Study Methodology
  • Internet document review
  • Telephone interviews with state and local agencies
  • Interviews with national experts
  • Data gathered Sep-Nov 2006
texas
Texas
  • Reorganized and consolidated a number of human services
  • Using private contracts and new public programs to address CFSR
  • Basic CWS budget formation similar to California
  • Sixth highest child poverty rate in the US (23%)
new york
New York
  • Changes driven by consent decrees (Marisol cases)
  • Reduced caseloads, increased training, configured services by neighborhoods
  • Focus on prevention
  • 3 major CWS funding components: uncapped services reimbursement, foster care block grant, quality enhancement
  • Outcomes: Decrease in foster care, increase in adoptions
  • Moving toward incentive based funding in NYC
illinois
Illinois
  • Major reductions in caseloads due to consent decrees and CFSR
  • Home of Relative Reform legislation to help pay for kin care rather than creating dependants
  • Focus on caseload reductions with some private contracts
  • Caseload standards: 15:1 for placement, 12:1 for investigations
  • Reduced number of foster children from 52,000 to 18,000 while steadily increasing CWS budget
minnesota
Minnesota
  • Strong reputation for innovation
  • Focusing on comprehensive assessment program to prevent maltreatment and placement
  • Sophisticated monitoring system similar to California
  • CFSR outcomes among the best
florida
Florida
  • Using private agencies to provide much of CWS
  • Low salaries and high caseloads leading to high turnover of CWS staff (30%)
  • Funding for state’s data reporting system has been suspended
california strengths
California strengths
  • Excellent quarterly monitoring system (CWS/CMS and UCB)
  • Relatively stable and educated workforce
  • 2030 standards for workloads
  • Hold harmless approach
summary of fiscal models
Summary of Fiscal Models
  • Wide variation across states
  • Changes driven by CFSRs
  • Not all states have county input
  • Some rely on competitive bidding
  • "Hold harmless" approach unique to California
  • Some states (e.g., New York) moving to incentives and outcome based budgeting
bottom line
Bottom line
  • All states want flexible funding to reward and support improved outcomes
  • Most states still use a caseload driven formula for budgeting
  • Jury is still out on private contracting and performance based budgeting
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